Why you should be using BrowserLocation to get your users location


When a web app asks the browser for location, it prompts the user if they want to share it.

At this point it becomes binary. Either they click ‘yes’ and you get (usually) pretty good latitude and longitude or they hit ‘no’ and you get nothing at all.

The second problem is you just get latitude and longitude. You have to do some work to turn that in to something meaningful like a city or country.

Enter BrowserLocation.

BrowserLocation is a JavaScript wrapper that asks the browser for location. If they click ‘yes’, then we return the data to you just as before but we add city, state and country information. If they click ‘no’ then we fallback to IP address location. This IP-based information is lower accuracy than GPS or wifi triangulation, but better than nothing at all!

And to make it even better, every use of the API is used to improve the IP address fallback data for other users. And you can download the data. And, you can even query it directly like this.

So think of it as an open IP to geo project, with a wonderful API and a virtuous circle where everyone using it also makes the data better. The data is initially released CCBYNC and will leak in to the public domain over time, this creates a space to monetize the data and pay to improve it. It’s been seeded by paying people all around the world to collect some data.

Enjoy. Please email if you have any questions.

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